Cancer Ward Quotes.

1. "A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

2. "The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

3. "Sometimes I feel quite distinctly that what is inside me is not all of me. There is something else, sublime, quite indestructible, some tiny fragment of the Universal spirit.Don't you feel that?"
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

4. "Like a bicycle, like a wheel that, once rolling, is stable only so long as it keeps moving but falls when its momentum stops, so the game between a man and woman, once begun, can exist only so long as it progresses. If the forward movement today is no more than it was yesterday, the game is over."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

5. "What is an optimist? The man who says, "It's worse everywhere else. We're better off than the rest of the world. We've been lucky." He is happy with things as they are and he doesn't torment himself. What is a pessimist? The man who says, "Things are fine everywhere but here. Everyone else is better off than we are. We're the only ones who've had a bad break." He torments himself continually."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

6. "As the two-thousand-year-old saying goes, you can have eyes and still not see. But a hard life improves vision."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

7. "It is not our level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart and the way we look at the world. Both attitudes lie within our power, so that a man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy, and no one can stop him."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

8. "Children write essays in school about the unhappy, tragic, doomed life of Anna Karenina. But was Anna really unhappy? She chose passion and she paid for her passion--that's happiness! She was a free, proud human being. But what if during peacetime a lot of greatcoats and peaked caps burst into the house where you were born and live, and ordered the whole family to leave house and town in twenty-four hours, with only what your feeble hands can carry?... You open your doors,call in the passers-by from the streets and ask them to buy things from you, or to throw you a few pennies to buy bread with...With ribbon in her hair, your daughter sits down at the piano for the last time to play Mozart. But she bursts into tears and runs away. So why should I read Anna Karenina again? Maybe it's enough--what I've experienced. Where can people read about us? Us? Only in a hundred years? "They deported all members of the nobility from Leningrad. (There were a hundred thousand of them, I suppose. But did we pay much attention? What kind of wretched little ex-nobles were they, the ones who remained? Old people and children, the helpless ones.) We knew this, we looked on and did nothing. You see, we weren't the victims." "You bought their pianos?" "We may even have bought their pianos. Yes, of course we bought them." Oleg could now see that this woman was not yet even fifty. Yet anyone walking past her would have said she was an old woman. A lock of smooth oldwoman's hair,quite incurable, hung down from under her white head-scarf. "But when you were deported, what was it for? What was the charge?" "Why bother to think up a charge? 'Socially harmful' or 'socially dangerous element'--S.D.E.', they called it. Special decrees, just marked by letters of the alphabet. So it was quite easy. No trial necessary." "And what about your husband? Who was he?" "Nobody. He played the flute in the Leningrad Philharmonic. He liked to talk when he'd had a few drinks." …We knew one family with grown-up children, a son and a daughter, both Komsomol (Communist youth members). Suddenly the whole family was put down for deportation to Siberia. The children rushed to the Komsomol district office. 'Protect us!' they said. 'Certainly we'll protect you,' they were told. 'Just write on this piece of paper: As from today's date I ask not to be considered the son, or the daughter, of such-and-such parents. I renounce them as socially harmful elements and I promise in the future to have nothing whatever to do with them and to maintain no communication with them."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

9. "The meaning of existence was to preserve untarnished, undisturbed and undistorted the image of eternity which each person is born with - as far as possible. Like a silver moon in a calm, still pond."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

10. "Should a man, to preserve his life, pay everything that gives life colour, scent and excitement? Can one accept a life of digestion, respiration, muscular and brain activity - and nothing more? Become a walking blueprint? Is this not an exorbitant price? Is it not mockery?"
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

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